Q&A: What’s a Browser?

Q: What’s a browser?

A: Despite the abundance of people using browsers, this is still a common question.

A browser is a program that lets you go to a web page and otherwise explore the Internet. Browsers let you interact with social network sites like Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Unless you’re reading this as a printed page, you are most likely viewing this page with a browser.


You can type in a website address in a browser to view that website, or you can search.

Browsers generally have some form of search capability that is connected to a search engine. This is where things get a little bit confusing.

The browser itself doesn’t search but it connects you, seamlessly, to a service that does. Generally speaking, a browser will have you use the associated search service (engine) offered by the browser provider. So, the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser will use Microsoft Bing. The Google Chrome browser will use the Google search service. However, you can set your browser to use another search engine such as Yahoo.

Saving Bookmarks or Favorites

Browsers let you print web pages and you can also save website addresses (called Favorites or Bookmarks).

Print or Save Web Pages

In addition to printing, you can save web pages as PDF files or as locally stored web content (saving the text and images from the page).

Cloud Features

Browser providers typically offer some kind of cloud synchronization so that your bookmarks, browsing history, and other settings can be synchronized across multiple devices. Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Mozilla offer cloud synchronization. This means you can easily pickup reading on one device where  you left off on another device.


Google Chrome is unique because there is a Google Chrome Web Store where you can get programs that run in Google Chrome. These are useful apps and programs written to work with Google Chrome, and in this way they can be used on Windows, Apple, Linux, and any other system that has Google Chrome.

Popular Browsers

Common browsers are Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and Opera. There are many others.  Below are the icons for some popular browsers.


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